Summary: This sermon is an adaptation from a book by John Maxwell, "The Twenty-one Indispensible Qualities of a Leader."
August 11, 2003
I. We have talked about a lot of things dealing with leadership, and I know that some of you may be wondering when we are going to be through with this subject, and we are getting closer.
A. But there are some more things that we need to understand about being a leader.
B. And there can be no doubt that we, as a church, need leaders to step forward, and I have been thrilled to see more people doing that lately.
C. I want you to know that I appreciate everyone who has stepped forward to take on more of a leadership role, but more than that, I think that you need to know that it pleases God.
D. For every one of you who step forward, we are one step closer to being what God wants us to be as a church. And everyone that steps forward encourages others to do the same.
E. One of the things that we have to have to be the leader that we are supposed to be is security.
F. John Maxwell says, "You can’t lead people if you need people."
G. Andrew Carnegie says, "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it."
H. What they are saying is, if you aren’t secure about who you are, if you are insecure about your abilities and your position, then you will always be afraid that someone else is going take your position as a leader.
I. I would be willing to bet that almost everybody in here has worked for a boss like that at some time, and it is a miserable position to be in.
J. The only way that a leader can make themselves better is to make the other leaders around them better.
K. And if we are so insecure about our own position as a leader that we are constantly afraid that someone is going to get more credit than us and make others think that they’re better than we are, we will constantly be trying to push the people around us down to build ourselves up.
L. I want you to notice that the only way for you push someone else down is to go down yourself.
M. When that happens, everyone that we lead will suffer and whatever we are leading will suffer.
N. As leaders, to improve whatever it is that we are leading, we have to build up the people around us.
II. During the time that Ronald Reagan was president, leaders of seven industrial nations were meeting at the White House to discuss economic policy. Ronald Reagan has told about coming across Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau strongly criticizing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, telling her that she was all wrong and her policies wouldn’t work.
A. Reagan says that she stood there with her head up and waited until he was through and then walked away.
B. Later Reagan went to Margaret Thatcher and said , "Maggie, he should have never spoken to you like that. He was out of line. Why did you let him get away with that?
C. Reagan said, that Margaret Thatcher looked at him and said, " A woman must know when a man is being simply childish."
D. That story characterizes Margaret Thatcher. It takes a strong secure person to succeed as a world leader and that is especially true when that person is a woman.
E. Margaret Thatcher has been swimming upstream all her life.
1. As a student of Oxford University she majored in Chemistry, a field dominated be men. She became the first woman president of Oxford University Conservative Association.
2. A few years later she qualified as a lawyer and worked as a tax specialist.
3. In 1959, she went into politics, a profession with few women.
4. And when she became a member of Parliament, she was frequently asked by her party to face opponents in debates.
5. Her conviction and skill may have been the result of something that her father told her. He said, "You don’t follow the crowd; you make up your own mind."
F. Her competence and convictions earned her several government posts, and as Secretary of State for Education and Science, she was called the most unpopular woman in Britain.
G. She continually made decisions that improved her country, and faced a lot of criticism, but always remained secure in her convictions.
H. She stood for conviction in leadership, and the result was that she was called the "Iron Lady" and was elected to three consecutive terms as Prime Minister of England, and she is the only British leader in modern history to accomplish that.